Empanadas or bread pies, are well known in the Galician cuisine (northwest Spain). These can be filled with fish, vegetables or meat. The dough and filling for the empanadas can be prepared in advance and refrigerated. These are a great option when feeding a crowd or when going to a picnic or a cook out because it tastes delicious warm or cold. Empanadas can be served with a salad (apple coleslaw) or alone.
This recipe reminds me of the small empanadas, made in many Latinoamerican countries. My mother would prepare the dough, cut small circles and fill them with cheese or meat. She would either fry or bake them. Because the baked ones were less fatty we rarely ate the fried ones. I also prepare them for my family the one difference is that I don’t prepare the dough I buy the pre-made dough discs. Both the empanada Gallega and the small empanadas are said to have either Arab (Sfija or Fatay) or Jewish (Lajmayin) influences. These are all made with bread-like-dough that needs rising and that is filled with meat, cheese or vegetables.
- 1½ teaspoons of yeast
- ½ cup of milk, warm
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon of sugar
- ¾ teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
- 2½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 egg beaten to be used to brush the top
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1½ cups of shredded chicken
- 1 teaspoon of garlic
- 1 bay leave
- ½ teaspoon of paprika
- ¾ cups of tomato sauce
- 1 cup of sliced onions
- ½ cup of sliced red peppers
- Melt the butter.
- In a smaller bowl warm the milk up then add the yeast. Mix until the yeast dissolves.
- In a larger bowl whisk the yeast, sugar, egg, salt and butter.
- Add the flour in the larger bowl and mix with wooden spoon.
- Knead dough in the bowl or on a lightly floured work surface.
- Place dough in a glass container and cover with plastic food wrap film.
- Let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
- In a medium size pan heat oil and cook onions until translucent.
- Add peppers, garlic, tomato sauce, salt, bay leave, and paprika.
- Let it cook for about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the chicken to the vegetables and cook for 10 minutes or until the chicken has absorb the juices. It is important that the filling is on the dry side otherwise the empanada will be soggy.
- Preheat the oven to 450 ˚F @ bake.
- Butter a 10x15x2 inch Pyrex pan.
- Divide the dough in two portions one larger that the other. The larger dough is for the bottom and the smaller one for the top.
- Using a rolling pin roll out the larger dough so that it fits in the bottom and the sides (at least a couple of inches) of the baking sheet (1/8 - ¼ inches in thickness).
- Transfer the dough to the pan.
- Roll out the smaller dough. The dough should be as large as the bottom of the pan to cover completely the empanada.
- Once the filling is cooled off, spread over the dough making sure you drain any extra liquid.
- Cover the filling with the smaller dough and pierce the top of the dough with a fork for the steam to escape.
- Brush the empanada with the beaten egg.
- At this point you can use any extra left over dough to decorate the top of the empanada. Brush the decoration with the beaten egg.
- Place the empanada in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the top is brown.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool on a rack.
- The empanada gallega can be served warm or at room temperature.
Did you make this recipe?
This is my favorite recipe. I enjoy the flavorful chicken and red pepper filling.